In the news … (Friday, Oct 21)

Portrait of Cod; Wikimedia Commons

Portrait of Cod; Wikimedia Commons

In grammatical and usage news this past month: a political email scandal involving risotto and apostrophes; some fishy regional accents, literally; how we’ll all be talking in 50 years’ time; Trump gets it wrong yet again; a British supermarket with a name that’s already been taken (by Iceland, for itself); a dictionary goes online; and those familiar experiences and concepts that desperately need a word or name to describe them  …

As the BBC reported in September, the “British supermarket Iceland could face a legal battle to save its name after the Icelandic government confirmed it is considering launching legal action.” Read the story here.

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The Atlantic recently asked prominent writers, linguists and philosophers what concepts in life most need a word in the English language. Here are their responses.

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The Democratic National Committee’s hacked emails have turned up an explosive scandal: as Epicurious reported, “The Clinton campaign [is] wrong on apostrophes, right on risotto.” Read here why some of those #PodestaEmails are so wrong and yet so right …

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And now over to the other presidential candidate: according to TIME magazine, “Donald Trump mispronounced the word “Nevada” while trying to teach a Reno crowd how to say the name of their home state.” What’s with our linguistically-challenged presidential wannabes?

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“Cod have regional accents, recordings reveal.” That’s according to the Financial Times, which reports that “British scientists identify clear distinctions in the sounds made by European and American fish. … Cod from American waters sound staccato, whereas those from European waters make a rumbling growling, according to new research.” Does that sound fishy?

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“Green’s, the Most Bodacious Slang Dictionary Ever, Just Went Online”. So reports TIME magazine

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The Daily Telegraph reports that “visitors expecting to hear the Queen’s English spoken on the streets of London in 50 years may need to “fink” again. … By 2066, linguists are predicting that the “th” sound will vanish completely in the capital because there are so many foreigners who struggle to pronounce interdental consonants — the term for a sound created by pushing the tongue against the upper teeth.” Unfinkable, don’t you fink?

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The Guardian also has somefing to report on fis linguistic report, The Sounds of 2066: “It’s not just Cockney that’s brown bread: a new report on the homogenisation of spoken English predicts that by the year 2066 the distinctive Brummie G – as in Birmin-gam – will have followed it down the apples and pears, along with dialect words and regional pronunciations such as Glasgow’s bampot, slarty and stooshie, and Newcastle’s neet out on the toon. … The report, The Sounds of 2066, suggests that “talking to machines and listening to Americans” will soon kill off cherished regional accents and phrases and lead to a more universally informal spoken English.”

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